High school students in Irving are getting a head start in the medical field.
Juniors and seniors in a four-year program at select Irving Independent School District schools assist medical professionals at Baylor Irving. Some participants in the Capstone Internship program end up with job offers after they graduate.
Baylor Irving's spokeswoman Kay McCaskill-Ellingson said about 40 seniors participate in the program, putting into practice everything they've learned since their freshmen year.
Analee Gonzalez, a senior at Jack Singley Academy, said she has taken numerous courses required for the internship.
"We prepare our terminology, all our facts, how to do all the work," she said.
Gonzalez said the hard work pays off at both her internship and at school.
"It's helping me in anatomy class," she said. "It's helping me in every class."
Josh Cardenas, who participated in the program before graduating in June 2009, said he is a step closer to his dream job. Cardenas, 21, is working full time and taking classes at North Lake College.
"I was super excited, because I always wanted to do something that was health-related, but I was never sure what that might be," he said.
In high school, Cardenas got the opportunity to check out first-hand what it's like to work at a hospital.
"You get thrown into the situation where, you know, you get right there and see what it's really like," he said.
Cardenas has been working at Baylor Irving since finishing high school.
"I was able to get hired straight out of high school, and I was being able to work and being able to pay for my school," he said.
Cardenas said he hopes to transfer to the University of Texas at Arlington's nursing program in the fall of 2013 and continue his path to becoming a nurse.
"It just feels great," he said. "It makes me feel like I'm actually making a difference in people's lives and that I can go on and do even more."